Good Luck Repairing or Upgrading the New MacBook Pro

Retina MacBook Pro Teardown

The inside of the new Retina MacBook Pro.

The repair site iFixit got a hold of the new MacBook Pro with Retina display and posted the results of their teardown a couple of days ago. What they found is that the new MacBook Pro is one of the least repairable laptops to be released not only by Apple, but any company. The teardown did not reveal any engineering flaws, but compromises in the design were made to help achieve the slim new look.

The compromises do not affect performance. However, they do affect the repair and upgrade capabilities of the machine. For starters, the RAM is fused to the logic board of the Retina MacBook Pro, making upgrading or replacing the RAM nearly impossible. The battery, which takes up a large amount of space inside the unit, is no longer screwed in as it has been in earlier models. Instead, the battery is glued on, which also makes replacement difficult. Further complicating the replacement capabilities is the fusing of the Retina display to the bezel. If something goes wrong with the display, it will be difficult to repair or replace with this setup.

What This Means For You

These design changes will not affect most users of the Retina MacBook Pro.

In the event of a problem, it might increase the probability that when you take your MBP to the Genius Bar, they may give you a refurbished unit instead of trying to repair the problem. Of course, this is not confirmed from Apple and they may have ways to address this, but it is something to be aware of. The lack of upgrading capabilities should be kept in mind if you are purchasing the new MBP. If you are on the fence about how much RAM you want, for example, remember that upgrading later on will be nearly impossible so it might be better to just bump up to the higher model. The specifications you have on the day you purchase the Retina MacBook Pro will be the same specifications through the life of it.

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